Knesset Declares Jerusalem Capital of Israel

January 23, 1950

By a vote of 60-2 with members of Mapam and Herut abstaining, the Knesset adopts a proclamation declaring Jerusalem  the capital of the State of Israel. In December 1949, the cabinet had drafted the resolution following a compromise between those who wanted an official legislative act declaring the city as capital of the country and those who felt that such an action was unnecessary.

During the vote, an amendment proposed by Herut which would have made the resolution applicable to all of Jerusalem, including the Old City which at the time was occupied by Transjordan, was defeated.  The two members who voted against the proposal were from the Communist party which supported an  International trusteeship for  the city as had been proposed by the United Nations.

The proclamation declared, “Whereas with establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem once more becomes the capital; Whereas practical difficulties which caused the Knesset and government institutions to be temporarily housed elsewhere have now for the most part been removed and the government is carrying out the transfer of its institutions to Jerusalem; The Knesset expresses the wish that construction of the seat of the government and Knesset in Jerusalem proceed speedily on the site allotted by the government for this purpose.”

The photo shows the King David Hotel and YMCA in Jerusalem in 1950.